Mount elder villages up for sale

Neil Munro is happy to move from his Pitau Road Home if council decided to sell it. Photo: John Borren.

Elderly residents of Pitau Road Village have voiced mixed feelings about the potential sale of their homes.

Tauranga City Council owns Pitau Road Village and Hinau Street Village in Mount Maunganui, and one of the options it is proposing is to sell the prime real estate. The combined estimated market value for the properties is $18 million to $23 million.

If the properties are sold, 45 elderly residents across the two villages will need to be rehoused.

The elder housing on Pitau Road was built in 1967, and tenant Neil Munro says they are past their use-by date. Both villages no longer meet recommended minimum housing standards and need costly redevelopment.

Neil says any money spent would be good money going after bad. The 75-year-old has been in his home for 10 years, but is happy to move and says residents have been expecting the sale for some time.

“It’s not something that has taken anybody by surprise,” he says.

“As long as I have a home and can afford it, I'm not particularly worried. I’m adaptable enough to move.”

However, not all residents share the same sentiment. Christine has been there for three years but lived in the Mount for 20 and is adamant she doesn’t want to leave her community.

“It’s created massive anxiety,” admits Christine. The sale has been talked about since she first moved in, but she claims council doesn’t seem to have a firm plan on where to place residents.

“How the council have handled it, to me, has not been with much foresight. They can't seem to sort out the decision of what they're going to do with us.”

If council does sell the properties, they will help relocate tenants to other affordable housing, which will most likely be to their other elder villages.

Council will pay for relocation costs and give each tenant rental assistance of $160 a week for 12 weeks.

In 2018, council made the decision to sell all nine elder villages to a public housing provider, while Pitau and Hinau have been identified as a non-priority location for public housing.

Council strategy and growth general manager Christine Jones says formal negotiations are underway with Kaianga Ora, with the aim to sell the villages this year.

The other option council is consulting the community on is for the two Mount Maunganui villages to be sold to another community housing provider. Christine says selling the villages on the open market is the preferred option.

“No matter what decision council makes, Pitau Road and Hinau Street tenants will always have a place to call home,” says Christine.

The options are part of the Long Tern Plan consultation that starts in May. A decision will be made about the fate of the villages at end of July.

 

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